By Dr. Jarrod Sadulski
Faculty Member, Criminal Justice
November 15 is National Entrepreneur’s Day, a good time to reflect on what sets entrepreneurs apart from other people. Entrepreneurs are unique because they find economic opportunities through establishing a creative vision and taking risks.
Entrepreneurs also have a unique ability to fulfill a market need through a creative product or approach. Many small businesses have been founded by entrepreneurs who took a substantial financial risk that their products and business plan would work. Examples of these entrepreneurs include Bob Evans, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and many others.
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What Are the Characteristics of a Good Entrepreneur?
Successful entrepreneurs have certain characteristics that help them overcome adversity as they introduce their products or services to the marketplace and grow their business. These characteristics include discipline and commitment to their business goals.
Being disciplined and committed are necessary attributes for entrepreneurs. Whether entrepreneurs start a new business or invent a new product, they must prioritize their time and devote far more effort to their work than others.
Being a risk taker is another characteristic of an entrepreneur. Financial capital is often at stake for entrepreneurs, and they must be willing to navigate changing economic conditions and be willing to take a calculated risk to grow their profits.
Another important characteristic of entrepreneurs is creativity, not only with the products that the entrepreneur sells but also with the sales approach the entrepreneur takes. Entrepreneurs are effective at coming up with innovative ways to sell their products and manage scalability.
Managing scalability is essential. If entrepreneurs are able to grow the demand for their products, increase production and avoid incurring unnecessary costs, they are more likely to be successful in growing their business.
Also, being creative helps a good entrepreneur overcome unexpected events and obstacles that business competitors are unable to overcome. For example, an entrepreneur might use innovative approaches to market research, new marketing strategies that utilize technology and inventive approaches to leading teams and maximizing productivity.
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Tips for Overcoming Adversity as an Entrepreneur
Successful entrepreneurs learn as much from their mistakes as they do from their successes. From my experience as a small business owner, I have found that it’s useful to accept advice from others who have successfully grown their businesses, to learn continually and to frequently analyzing if the approach I took to business development was the most effective approach.
In addition, I found that creating a well-developed business plan was useful. However, it is equally important to remain flexible, adapt to necessary changes and set milestone goals for growing the business.
Common Challenges for Entrepreneurs
Creating a new business is typically a long road filled with unexpected challenges, so a good entrepreneur must be mentally prepared for setbacks. Common challenges to entrepreneurs include:
- Changing government regulations
- Decreasing employee attrition
- Bringing services and products to the market
- Controlling expenses
Marketing costs money and is essential. For entrepreneurs starting out on a tight budget, it is critical to make sure that every penny is spent wisely in supporting and growing the business. Since marketing is often a significant part of a business’s budget, wise entrepreneurs will leverage customer reviews and social media in every possible way to mitigate their marketing costs.
Becoming a good entrepreneur takes a special skillset and an innovative mindset. Entrepreneurs must be prepared to overcome obstacles and willing to sell their services or products in innovative, sometimes unconventional ways.
Also, entrepreneurs don’t view competition as a bad thing. Instead, a good entrepreneur views competition as a way to remain motivated to deliver the best possible service or product and to continuously seek improvements in the way that that product or service is delivered to the market.
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